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Nowak departs as AFA president

By Mike Taylor27 October 2021

The president of the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA), Michael Nowak has resigned his position.

Financial Newswire understands that Nowak announced his decision at the AFA annual general meeting.

He was elected president last year at a time of declining membership numbers generated by advisers leaving the industry and has overseen a change of chief executive officers.

Nowak’s departure is regarded as likely to prompt renewed speculation around a merger between the AFA and the Financial Planning Association (FPA).

Later, in a formal press release announcement the AFA said that not only Nowak had gone as President but also Matthew Hawkins as Treasurer.

It said Sam Perera had been appointed the AFA’s National President, noting that “Perera’s appointment follows a decision by National President Michael Nowak to resign after many years of contribution to the AFA Board as a board member and President”.

“AFA Treasurer, Matthew Hawkins, also announced his resignation after seven years on the Board,” the announcement said.

“I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to Mike and Matt who have been long-serving members of the AFA Board,”  Perera said. “Mike has served for nine years, three of those as President, and Matt for seven years, a year as Treasurer.”

Perera said the past few years had seen enormous pressures placed on advisers and the AFA, which represented them and advocated on their behalf.

“Mike has been an outstanding President of the AFA, tireless in his advocacy on behalf of the AFA as the Royal Commission reforms have continued unabated and the COVID-19 pandemic created major operational challenges for the AFA and our members,” he said.

“The AFA Board fully supports Mike’s decision to share the load and allow somebody else to take on the presidential responsibilities.”

Perera also acknowledged the contribution made by Matthew Hawkins.

“Matt also has significant work and family commitments and it’s time for somebody else to take on this significant role to allow him to focus on his other commitments,” he said.

Perera said that at a Board meeting following the AGM, the other appointments made were:

  •  Michelle Veitch, Vice President
  •  Samantha Robinson, Treasurer

The AFA’s new president has been a member of the AFA Board for two years, one as Treasurer and one as Vice President.

All appointments are effective immediately.

The appointment of Sam Perera as President, Michelle Veitch as Vice President and Samantha Robinson as Treasurer are decisions of the Board to fill casual vacancies until the next AGM in 2022.

The AFA Board is now:

  • President – Sam Perera
  • Vice President – Michelle Veitch
  • Treasurer – Samantha Robinson
  • NSW/ACT – Katherine Hayes
  • VIC – Vacant
  • QLD – Patricia Garcia
  • SA/NT – Jawad Ahmad
  • WA – Stephen Knight
  • TAS – Vacant
  • Shaun McDonagh (Independent Director)

AFA CEO Helen Morgan-Banda thanked Mike and Matt on behalf of the AFA’s HQ team.

“Mike has been an inspirational leader for the AFA, and I want to thank him and Matt for supporting me and my team during a period of challenge and change,” she said.

Mike Taylor

Mike Taylor

Managing Editor/Publisher, Financial Newswire

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